Document Type

Symposium Article

Publication Date



Because child welfare cases in the world of professional practice require interdisciplinary collaboration, it would seem to follow that graduate students, who will become child welfare professionals, should be trained together, both in the classroom and in clinical settings. However, the implementation of interdisciplinary training is far from straightforward. In this Article, we focus on law and social work students. First, we describe the roles of lawyers and social worker in child welfare work. Next we argue that interdisciplinary classroom teaching is easier than clinical teaching, proposing a series of topics to be covered in an interdisciplinary course. Finally, we describe the challenges of clinical training of lawyers and social workers together, noting that they have different roles in child welfare cases, different ethical guidelines, different approaches and methods of intervention, and different social statuses, each of which affect how they approach casework in child welfare cases.